Festo branches into many interesting endeavors. I’ve visited the company’s headquarters, a few customers including an Audi plant in Hungary, and the Cincinnati, Ohio area training facility. This news touches on a hot topic crucial to manufacturing success–training and education. Festo Didactic develops training courses and conducts classes. Here are two pieces of news. One from Ohio regarding a pre-apprenticeship program in a couple of schools. The second from Wisconsin concerning an award.

Warren County and Clermont County Schools Kickoff Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Students from Kings High School and Goshen High School get on-the-job training in advanced manufacturing from Festo Didactic, made possible by funding from Easterseals and the State. A group of 14 high school seniors in southwestern Ohio have become the first beneficiaries of a workforce development grant to fund a newly formed pre-apprenticeship program focused on modern day manufacturing.

The grant was awarded to Easterseals, a Cincinnati-based nonprofit organization focused on improving workforce equity, inclusion and access. 

Kings High School in Warren County and Goshen High School in Clermont County are the first high schools in the state to participate in the pre-apprenticeship program in collaboration with Festo Didactic, a global leader in industrial and technical education.

“The Area 12 HUB (Butler, Clermont, Warren counties and Easterseals) partnered with Festo because they have an exceptional model for their manufacturing pre-apprenticeship program,” said Jessica Dean, Manager, Youth Services Community Operations at Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati. “In this program, there’s a strong commitment to help youth become successful. For students to have access to high quality STEM education and hands-on training like this, it opens up a world of possibilities.”

According to apprenticeship.gov, by definition, pre-apprenticeship is a program or set of strategies designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Pre-apprenticeship programs help employers save time and money by providing pre-screened, ready-to-work employees who have been trained in the specific skills employers need. U.S. Department of Labor case studies have shown that pre-apprenticeship programs can attract more diverse candidates, including women and people of color, and increase employment of disabled workers.

Specifically, Festo’s pre-apprenticeship is designed to introduce students to modern day smart manufacturing. The program prioritizes hands-on, experiential learning that exposes students to the wonders of bionics and robotics in addition to beginner-level engineering concepts in pneumatics and mechatronics. Pre-apprentices receive a comprehensive learning experience in the classroom with textbook and hybrid learning, then head off to the lab to apply their knowledge hands-on with IoT hardware and software systems. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a certificate of completion.

Classes are held at Festo’s Regional Service Center (RSC), a 47-acre state-of-the-art logistics and manufacturing plant that provides automation technology serving all of North America. The plant opened in 2015 and is among the 15 largest employers in Mason.

The RSC also serves as the home base for Festo’s award-winning Mechatronics Apprenticeship Program (MAP2) which first launched at the Festo Learning Center in 2016. In 2020, MAP2 earned the Best in Ohio Business Award in the Workforce Development Program category.

KTEC to Honor Festo Didactic as the 2022 Distinguish Partner

Festo Didatic is scheduled to be presented with KTEC’s 2022 Distinguished Partner Award at the annual KTEC Gala on Saturday, March 26, for the company’s dedication to education and support of KTEC.

The mission of Kenosha School of Technology Enhanced Curriculum (KTEC) is to engage learners of all types in an innovative and continually evolving learning environment, to prepare students for success through academic excellence by the use of 21st Century Skills, strategic partnerships, and technology integration to prepare for a global society.

The company is an important part of innovation for KTEC students. Festo and the school are working together to integrate bionics and mechatronics into the school’s STEM learning program for 6th–8th grade students.

Festo is also an important part of the design team for KTEC High School, which is slated to open this September. Festo is facilitating the development of the Automation and Robotics career pathway.

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